Help is coming single in aid of the refugee crisis
Friday, 11 September 2015
‘Help Is Coming’ with an introduction by Benedict Cumberbatch, a short film by Mat Whitecross
Download available now from iTunes
Apple's Proceeds From ‘Help Is Coming’ will benefit Save the Children
- 7” single via The Vinyl Factory available 28/09 with an exclusive b-side 7” single via The Vinyl Factory available 28/09 with an exclusive b-side
- Benedict Cumberbatch Images
Like the rest of the nation, the broadcasters/writers Caitlin Moran and Pete Paphides were saddened and angered last week by the images of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi and his brother Galip.
Pete Paphides: “I started imagining my family in a similar situation, and almost without me realising it, a song I hadn't heard for several years started playing in my head. Help Is Coming was recorded by Crowded House over 20 years ago, but it evokes with uncanny empathy the howling uncertainty faced by thousands of families arriving in Europe for the first time. The following day, I contacted friends at The Vinyl Factory – a label that owns the old EMI pressing plant in Hayes – with a view to manufacturing a seven-inch single with all the proceeds going to Save The Children. They responded immediately, offering to waive all their manufacturing costs”.
Caitlin Moran: “The day after the pictures of three-year-old Alan Kurdi went around the world - it was like a switch had been flicked. My social media timelines were full of people who just could not stay inactive any more; who were exasperated with the lack of governmental action. There were people posting up Amazon wish lists of tents, sleeping bags, clothes; people hiring vans to drive down to Calais; people organising libraries, and soup kitchens. People doing that brilliant, simple, ageless human thing: of wanting to help other people. Whilst committees convene and resolutions are published and squabbles break out between this government and that, normal people just become very practical: they roll up their sleeves, and say: “Right. if I’d just fled my country with my family, what would I need? Shelter, food, and clothing. maybe some books, for the kids. Let’s get started now.” So, Pete and I were just doing what everyone else was doing, really. He’d found the perfect song - Help Is Coming, about refugees on their way to Ellis Island, with “Empires crumbling” behind them - and I just went on Facebook and told everyone what we were doing. And everyone was desperate to help - everyone felt the same way”.
The 7” single of Crowded House’s ‘Help Is Coming’ with an exclusive previously unreleased b-side ‘Anthem’ with new artwork by Crowded House’s bass player Nick Seymour is available to pre-order now from The Vinyl Factory.
The download is available from iTunes, Apple, as well as Universal Music Group, the artists, and producers of Help Is Coming, will be donating their respective proceeds.
Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Capitol Records have both kindly agreed to donate the royalties and all proceeds from the track will do to Save The Children.
Neil Finn: “I am continually amazed and grateful for the mysterious pathways that songs can travel. You never know where they are going to turn up and when they will reveal their true nature. First recorded in 1995, quietly released in 1999 Help Is Coming has had a long journey to find a good home. It was always a song about refugees even if at the time I was thinking about the immigrants setting off on ships from Europe to America, looking for a better life for their families in America. The words of the poem inscripted on the Statue of Liberty are an extraordinary statement of intent for the development of a great nation "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”
There is such a huge scale and urgency to the current refugee crises that barely a day goes by without some crushing image or news account to confront us. We can’t be silent anymore. Like the diverse immigrants that made America great, these are good people that just want to find somewhere safe to create a better life for their families. I am grateful to Pete and Caitlin for imagining my song might resonate – and to Mat Whitecross for creating such a powerful film to accompany it. It's an honour to be a part of a growing chorus of voices to create action and make it real ...help is coming”
The response from those wanting to help Pete and Caitlin was instantaneous;
Caitlin Moran: “Within 24 hours we had Mat Whitecross directing the video, Outside Organisation doing the PR, photojournalists sending footage, offers of help from every organisation I’ve ever worked with, like Save The Children, and Glastonbury. A council of elders gave us a crash course in how to do something. Because that’s that humans do. We help”
Pete Paphides: “After a frantic period which involved Caitlin and I emailing and phoning everyone we could think of, we heard back from Mat Whitecross, who has directed videos for Coldplay and Take That and worked on acclaimed documentaries such as The Road To Guantanamo. Mat immediately offered to make a film for this song. On Monday, I turned up at the offices of Universal and showed them Mat's film. Their immediate response was, "What can we do?" Within an hour they threw all their resources, spread across every department, into effecting a Friday release. It wasn't a matter of choosing "the right song" for this. The song chose itself. Help Is Coming is about the leap of faith you take when you leave everything and place yourself at the mercy of other people.
Mat Whitecross: “My wife and I have been watching the news every night and feeling helpless. Our parents were refugees, who fled their countries in fear of their lives - mine from Argentina, hers from Iran. So we both grew up knowing how important it is to offer shelter and support to those who need it.
There’s a beautiful tradition of hospitality we’ve had throughout this country’s history. It’s one of the things that makes me feel proud to live here - but ashamed when we forget that tradition. Our thanks go to Simon Rawles who gave us permission to use his interviews with the children”
Justin Forsyth, Save the Children CEO:“The UK has a proud history of offering children and families refuge from extreme crises and the compassion show by the British public has matched the scale of this crisis. The Prime Minister’s announcement to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees direct from the region into Britain is welcome news, but we cannot forget those refugees who have already made the journey to Europe, specifically the 3,000 children who have travelled here completely alone. The outpouring of support from the British public has shown what we are capable of so let’s continue to show solidarity in support of the child refugees. No child should be left behind. Thank you to all those who have worked on this single – it will help to keep the public’s attention focused – and in turn European leaders accountable - on one of the biggest refugee crisis of our time. No more body bags. No more children dying on our doorstep.”
For more information about ‘Help Is Coming’ please contact;
Julian Stockton, Outside Organisation 020 7436 3633 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Save The Children please contact;
Helena Wiltshire, Save The Children 020 7012 6400 H.Wiltshire@savethechildren.org.uk
Background Information on Save the Children’s work on the Refugee Crisis
Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War and it is unacceptable that children are dying on our doorstep. Children are fleeing bombs, bullets and torture in warzones like Syria, only to drown in European waters. If they survive, they are bundled into the backs of overcrowded trucks as they continue their desperate search – and some have suffocated along the way. Children often arrive in Europe scared and exhausted. Many have seen and experienced untold horrors that no child should have to face during their journey.
So far in 2015 more than 380,000 desperate people have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Save the Children has worked on these issues for decades and we work along the whole route that refugees take, including the countries they are fleeing, like Syria, where brutal war has ripped apart the lives of millions and the countries en route, like Turkey, Egypt, Greece and Italy – making sure children are protected wherever possible.
We also work in countries like Germany and Serbia to ensure that families understand their rights and have access to care and support.
Save the Children is doing whatever it takes to provide essential support to the thousands of children in need but we desperately need your support to respond to this crisis. Every donation will make a real difference, and will be used across the whole route these desperate refugees are taking – from Syria itself through to Greece, Italy and the UK. You can find out more at www.Savethechildren.org.uk or you can donate now - online by debit or credit card or by telephone calling 0800 8148 148.
About Save the Children:
Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children's lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential. www.savethechildren.org.uk
About The Vinyl Factory:
Established in 2001, The Vinyl Factory Group encompasses a record label, vinyl pressing plant, the record shop Phonica and music magazine FACT, in addition to all of its visual arts activities.
The Vinyl Factory record label releases limited editions made in collaboration with both artists and musicians, accompanied by events and performances. Releases to date include: The xx, Christian Marclay, Massive Attack, Eddie Peake, Roisin Murphy, Haroon Mirza, Burial, Dinos Chapman, Florence + the Machine, Maurizio Catalan, Pet Shop Boys and Martin Creed.
The Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park is a dynamic cultural hub featuring arts commissions and audio-visual collaborations. This year site-specific exhibitions at the space have included Ryoji Ikeda’s supersymmetry and Carsten Nicolai’s unicolor. This November it will host Ragnar Kyartansson’s The Visitors.
The Vinyl Factory also works in partnerships with leading art organisations. Key projects include Jeremy Deller English Magic for The British Council’s British Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale of Art, The Fun Palace at the Serpentine Gallery’s Summer Party, Christian Marclay’s major 2015 show at White Cube Bermondsey and, in collaboration with the Barbican, American multi-media artist Doug Aitken’s Station to Station project.